21 Oct 2011

Seafarers' group says Rena 'accident waiting to happen'

8:10 pm on 21 October 2011

A Philippines group, the International Seafarers Action Centre, says the grounding of the Rena off Tauranga was an accident waiting to happen because it was sailing under a flag of convenience.

The centre claims the use of flags of convenience benefits ship owners, but no one else, because the ships are often substandard.

It says the Filipino crew suffered physically and faced trauma and fear for the six days they had to remain on the ship after it ran onto the Astrolabe Reef.

The centre says the situation was made worse by comments from what it says were racist and extreme right-wing elements in New Zealand who blamed the nationality of the crew for the grounding.